Police arrested and extradited a man accused of the killing and dismemberment of a 30-year-old woman who had been missing for weeks.

The unidentified victim of the cruel attack was found in a box with her decomposed foot hanging out, police said.

Authorities were searching an apartment building in Brisbane, New South Wales during probes for the missing foreign national.

Twenty-six-year-old Yang Zhao was arrested and extradited to Queensland, where police say he is likely to be charged and tried for the murder.

The body has not been identified yet because the remains are too decomposed for investigators to figure out the person's age or even gender.

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But police have a good idea who it is likely to be and say they will confirm the identity as soon as possible.

New South Wales Detective Inspector Tim Trezise told the Australian Associated Press the body was found wrapped in a sheet inside a metal box on the apartment balcony during searches on Monday afternoon.

Zhao was refused bail during a hearing yesterday.

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Trezise added: "An arrest warrant in Queensland has now been sworn in relation to one charge of murder in relation to the missing person.

"Obviously investigations both forensically and evidentiary by the detectives will continue for some days and weeks in relation to strengthening the case."

The immigrant woman thought to be the victim of the heinous crime was declared missing when her mother, who lives abroad, stopped hearing from her some weeks ago.

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Though they weren't in a relationship, Zhao became a prime suspect in the disappearance of the woman and police ended a long search at his Brisbane rental.

Though he lives in Sydney, the suspect was living for some time in New South Wales.

The detective inspector described the body as wrapped in a cloth inside the chest with one foot sticking out.

He said the victim will receive a post-mortem later today at a nearby medical centre.

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